McGrady entered the NBA straight from high school after being selected in the 1997 NBA Draft with the ninth overall pick in the first round by the Toronto Raptors. He played in the NBA for the Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, and Atlanta Hawks. He then played for the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association before signing with San Antonio. McGrady was ranked #75 on SLAM Magazine's "Top 75 Players of All-Time" in 2003. McGrady's style of play has been compared to that of George Gervin.
McGrady was born in Bartow, Florida. He played high school basketball at Auburndale High School in Auburndale, Florida for three years. He then transferred to Mount Zion Christian Academy, in Durham, North Carolina. McGrady created a national buzz after his performance in the Adidas ABCD Camp, where the best high school players in the U.S. are invited annually. He was named High School Player of the Year by USA Today. McGrady has stated that if he had not gone straight to the NBA from high school, he would have attended Kentucky.
Toronto Raptors (1997–2000)
McGrady was drafted ninth overall in the first round of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors.
In McGrady's first two seasons with the Raptors, he averaged less than 10 points per game, mainly coming off the bench. In his second season, he began playing alongside his third cousin, Vince Carter. The 1999–2000 season was McGrady's first breakout season in the NBA. He was a starter in 34 games out of 79, averaging 15.4 points per game, and a career-high 1.9 blocks per game. McGrady also competed in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, finishing third, behind Carter and Steve Francis.
In 2000, the duo of McGrady and Carter helped lead the Raptors to the playoffs, for the first time in franchise history. However, the team was swept 3–0 by the New York Knicks in the first round. McGrady was often overshadowed by Carter during his time in Toronto, and he became a free agent in the summer of 2000. In the off-season, he expressed interest in playing for family and friends in his home state of Florida.
Orlando Magic (2000–2004)
On August 3, 2000, McGrady was dealt to the Orlando Magic in a sign-and-trade deal for a first round pick. In Orlando, he played alongside Grant Hill, who had been acquired that summer in hope of bringing Orlando back among the Eastern Conference's elite teams. However, an ankle injury limited Hill to only 4 games and McGrady became the leader and 1st scoring option of the team. For the first time in his career McGrady was selected as an All-Star when he was voted by the fans to start in the midseason classic for the Eastern Conference. At season's end he was presented with the 2001 NBA Most Improved Player Award. Even though McGrady had elevated his game from solid contributor to star, the Magic were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The following season, McGrady continued his great play. With Hill struggling with injuries, the Magic were once again a one-man show. He made his second All-Star team and First Team All-NBA while averaging 26 points per game. The Magic posted a 44–38 record for the year but they were beat again in the first round of the playoffs, this time by the Charlotte Hornets.
In the 2002–03 season, McGrady averaged 32.1 points per game and captured the NBA scoring title, becoming the youngest player to do so since the ABA-NBA merger. Despite McGrady's personal accolades, the Magic failed to reach the second round of the playoffs. In a rather infamous moment, during the 2003 NBA Playoffs, the Magic (who were an #8 seed) surprisingly took a 3–1 series lead against the heavily favored #1 seed Detroit Pistons. Prior to the fifth game in Detroit, McGrady was quoted as saying that how wonderful it was to "finally be in the position to advance to the second round (of the playoffs)". Orlando, however, lost Games 5, 6, and 7 by an average of more than 20 points, and Detroit advanced to the second round.
In the 2003–04 season, he once again captured the NBA scoring title, averaging 28 points per game, and set a career high with 62 points against the Washington Wizards at the TD Waterhouse Centre on March 10, 2004. With this performance, he became the fourth player in the past 12 years to score over 60 points in a game. The Magic team as a whole, however, were decimated by injuries and struggled to a 21–61 season, earning them the first overall pick in the draft (which turned out to be Dwight Howard).
Houston Rockets (2004–2010)
On June 29, 2004, McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines were traded to the Houston Rockets in a seven-player deal that sent Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kelvin Cato to the Magic. Initially viewed as a fair trade, it has come to be seen as one of the more lopsided trades in NBA history. McGrady would play in several All-Star games as a Rocket; Orlando traded Francis after less than two seasons.
In his first year with the Rockets, McGrady teamed with 7' 6" center Yao Ming to form one of the more potent duos in the Western Conference. They started slowly, struggling to find a point guard to complement McGrady's skill set in the backcourt until Bob Sura returned from an injury. The Rockets traded Lue for Jon Barry for 3-point shooting off the bench. The Rockets also acquired David Wesley from the Hornets to bolster their backcourt defense, particularly on smaller guards. With these new trades, McGrady was moved to SF, with a starting lineup of Bob Sura, David Wesley, Juwan Howard, and Yao Ming. The Rockets then ran the offense through McGrady, used the inside game of Yao, and used the perimeter game of Howard's baseline jumper and 3-point shooting effectively. On December 9, 2004, McGrady scored 13 points in the last 35 seconds of a game against the San Antonio Spurs: four consecutive 3 pointers (one of which was part of a four-point play), including a steal and the game-winning 3 pointer with 1.7 seconds left that led to the 81-80 Rockets win. The Rockets finished the 2004–05 season 51–31 as the 5th seed in the playoffs. McGrady's stellar 30.7 ppg, 6.7 apg, and 7.4 rpg in the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs helped Houston to a 2-0 lead in the series against the Dallas Mavericks. McGrady's signature moment was in Game 2, where he blew past Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki and dunked over 7' 6" Dallas center Shawn Bradley. McGrady also hit the gamewinner for a 113–111 victory. But in Game 7, McGrady missed 6 of his first 7 shots, and the Rockets were never able to match the intensity of the Mavericks, who beat them by 40 points and bounced them from the playoffs.
In the early 2005–06 season, McGrady missed eight games because of back spasms. His back spasms resurfaced on January 8, 2006, and he was taken at halftime in a game against the Denver Nuggets on a stretcher to the hospital; he missed another five games and the back problems lurked thereafter. In the 2005–06 season, the Rockets were 2–15 in games he did not play in and 2–16 in games McGrady did not finish. While McGrady was injured for five games with his back injury, the Rockets did not win a single game. Other injuries include him falling on his back in a game against the Indiana Pacers. Despite his back injuries, McGrady was voted into the 2006 All-Star Game in Houston. His Western Conference teammates constantly put the ball in his hands to put him in contention for the All-Star MVP award in front of his Houston home crowd. A controversy resulted in the final minute when McGrady attempted a jump shot that would have given the West the lead and control of the game. Replays showed LeBron James, who was guarding McGrady appearing to make contact with McGrady's elbow, causing the shot attempt to fall way short of the basket. However, no foul was whistled, the East won, and LeBron James was named All-Star MVP.
In the 2006–07 season, McGrady started out slowly, and after missing 7 games with back spasms he visited a doctor. In an interview with TNT, McGrady said that he thought that his body was slowing down. He believed that he could no longer be as explosive as he was in the past due to his back injury. Shortly after another bout with back spasms, McGrady went to Waco, Texas where Dr. John Patterson performed "Synergy Release Therapy" to cure his chronic back problems, particularly the back spasms. However, since Yao Ming was having another breakout season, he was deferring to Yao as the number one option. Since Yao went down with a leg injury, McGrady stepped up his overall play, re-establishing himself as one of the game's premier players and by doing so led Houston to the 5th best record in the league. On December 29, 2006, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 14,000 points and 4,000 rebounds. In the playoffs, the Rockets lost their first-round series to the Utah Jazz 4–3. McGrady had said in an interview that if he and the Rockets failed to make it out of the first round again, it was "on me". At his post-game press conference following the Game 7 defeat, McGrady, still visibly emotional from the loss, said "I tried, man, I tried."
After the 2006–07 season, Jeff Van Gundy was fired as head coach. Rick Adelman was hired as head coach as Rockets owner Leslie Alexander wanted a more uptempo offense to use the offensive skills of Yao and McGrady.
The 2007–08 season for the Rockets was decimated by injuries; Yao was placed on injured reserve in February. Incredibly, the Rockets won 22 straight games (10 without Yao). The Rockets finished as the 5th seed in the West and earned a rematch with the Utah Jazz. However, by the time playoffs came, McGrady was already nursing shoulder and knee injuries as he had bandages placed on his shoulder and his knee throughout the playoff series. McGrady took pain-killing injections in and had fluid drained from both his shoulder and knee to allow him to play. The Jazz again eliminated the Rockets in six games, even though McGrady recorded 40 points and 10 rebounds in the decisive Game Six, a 113–91 loss.
In May 2008, McGrady underwent arthroscopic surgery on both his left shoulder and left knee.
On February 18, 2009, McGrady announced on his website that he would have surgery on his left knee and would miss the remainder of the 2008–09 season. He had already missed 18 games before the All-Star break, including a two-week stretch in January, and said before the season that his knee was not healed from his off-season surgery. He decided to have microfracture surgery in Chicago on February 24, 2009. The cartilage damage to be repaired by the microfracture surgery was in a small area on a non-weight-bearing surface, and the rest of his knee was otherwise healthy, according to the team doctor.
Despite McGrady being on injured reserve, the Rockets beat the Trail Blazers 4–2 in the first round of the playoffs to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The Rockets would compete in a memorable series against the eventual NBA champion LA Lakers, before losing Game 7 in LA. Since McGrady was on the Rockets' roster during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, he officially advanced past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his career.
McGrady only played in six games with the Rockets during the 2009–10 season, all in limited minutes as a reserve due to injuries, before being traded to the New York Knicks in February.
New York Knicks (2010)
On February 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade involving Houston, New York, and the Sacramento Kings. On February 20, 2010, McGrady made his debut for the Knicks against the Oklahoma City Thunder, to a sold-out Madison Square Garden, amid many "We Want T-Mac!" chants. He scored 26 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and dished 5 assists in 32 minutes of play as New York lost in overtime. This was McGrady's first game since December 23, 2009 against the Orlando Magic. His first win as a member of the Knicks came six days later, in a 23-point effort against the Washington Wizards.
Detroit Pistons (2010–2011)
On August 16, 2010, McGrady signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Pistons. On December 7, 2010, McGrady returned to Houston for the first time to a mixture of applause and boos from the home crowd and scored 11 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, and dished 3 assists in a 97–83 loss. On January 14, 2011, McGrady scored a season-high of 22 points in a 101–95 win over the Toronto Raptors. McGrady averaged 8.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in 23.4 minutes for the Pistons but they failed to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Atlanta Hawks (2011–2012)
On December 7, 2011, ESPN reported that McGrady agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks for the veteran minimum. In his debut as a Hawk, McGrady finished with 12 points, 2 rebounds, a steal and a block in less than 20 minutes of action in a 106–70 blowout win over the New Jersey Nets. Less than a week later, on January 2, 2012, McGrady scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter of a game against the then-undefeated Miami Heat, to lead the Hawks to a comeback victory. Over the season, he averaged a career-low 5.3 points per game in 16 minutes per game.
Qingdao Eagles (2012–2013)
On October 9, 2012, McGrady signed a one-year deal with the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketbal Association. In the CBA, McGrady shot 49.6% overall from the field, making 239 out of 482 total shot attempts, shooting 56.1% on 2 point field goal attempts and 33.3% on 3 point field goal attempts, making 46 out of 138. He also averaged 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game. His team finished in last place in the CBA 2012–13 league standings, with a record of 8 wins and 24 losses.
San Antonio Spurs (2013–present)
On April 16, 2013, McGrady signed with the San Antonio Spurs just before their season finale, making him eligible to play for them in the playoffs. He chose to wear the No. 1 jersey. The 2012–13 season was the first of McGrady's NBA career that he did not play a regular-season game. McGrady got his first minutes as a Spur against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, logging one assist and one steal. In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, McGrady played his first minutes in a championship series, logging two rebounds and two assists. The Spurs lost the series in seven games.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
CBA career statistics